I am so excited to tell you that today Luke and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage. How about a big ‘yay‘ for us but an enormous ‘YAY‘ for God! I’ve shared the story of our restored relationship before here. But today, I would like to tell you about the beginnings of Us. This is the story of how we met or, more eloquently titled, “The Parking Lot Romance”.

I sense you’re getting nervous. I promise this post is G-Rated.

Luke is almost four years my senior so as teenagers, I knew who he was but that was all. Except that he was hot. Yes, I knew that, too.

My best friend dated Luke’s best friend and they were determined that we should go out. I was secretly thrilled over the idea but back in the good ‘ole days, believe it or not, there was still some mystery in the dating process. A girl was actually considered more desirable if she posed a wee bit of challenge instead of walking around half-nekked and throwing herself on any unsuspecting boy who walked by. So, when my friends suggested fixing us up, I was all like, “Yeah, okay. Whatever.”

And then I went home, closed my bedroom door, and did the hopeful happy dance in a way only a young, smitten teenager can do.

There were no cellphones then. No texting. No MySpace. No IM’ing. So the fixing up wasn’t something that happened instantaneously. It was more a game of chance that relied on my friends running in to Luke at some bonfire on the mountain (story for another day) or catching him at home on the phone to find out if he would be at all interested in going out with me and then letting me know some time in the distant future.

Quite a few days passed and still no word. I figured either my friends hadn’t talked to Luke, or worse, that a short girl with big hair just wasn’t the thing for him. Though I would have been disappointed, I already had my mind set to the ‘whatever’ mode the fateful day I ran into him in my workplace parking lot.

Luke’s buddy and I worked at the same company though on different shifts. One sunny afternoon I was walking in to work and saw Luke sitting in his ragtop Jeep waiting to pick up his friend. I quickly turned my head and was planning to avoid the heck out of him. If he didn’t yet know I had agreed to go out with him, then I figured my ignoring him would be more intriguing than if I walked over and introduced myself. And, if he didn’t want to go out with me, I sure wasn’t going to embarrass myself by acknowledging him. Either way, the First Move was not coming from yours truly.

I walked quickly in front of Luke’s Jeep purposefully looking the other direction. I knew if I even stole a glance I would be powerless to keep from staring at his gorgeous, perfectly blow-dried mullet. (Luke was famous for his stunning hair.) As I was hurrying past I heard him utter the most effectively awesome pick-up line that has ever passed human lips. With a coolness only matched by James Dean, he said:

“Hey. Come here.”

Would you like to know what I did?

I went there. And I’ve been there ever since.

I think back to those silly kids flirting in the parking lot and am still blown completely away that God has not only preserved our marriage but prospered it. Had I known what was waiting for me those many years ago, I would have run like crazy past the Jeep that day. But I didn’t and here I sit one of the happiest, most content women on this planet.

I love you, Luke! Still love your hair. I love the man and husband and father you are. And I love our God who saw fit to orchestrate a divine meeting in a parking lot.

And If you weren’t convinced before, now you know God can sanctify anything.

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